The Brooklyn Nets fell behind by 20 points early and dropped a 100-87 final on the road against the Charlotte Hornets Friday night.
D'Angelo Russell led the Nets with 33 points, making 13-of-24 shots in his fifth 30-point outing of the season. DeMarre Carroll (15 points) and Shabazz Napier (11) were the only other Nets in double figures as Brooklyn had its lowest scoring game of the season, shooting 39.8 percent overall and 14.8 percent (4-for-27) from 3-point range.
Napier's sparkplug play off the bench helped cut into Charlotte's lead late in the third quarter, and Russell's jumper brought Brooklyn within 73-65 going into the fourth. Napier made all five of his field goal attempts for the game, and the fifth -- a shifty finish amongst a crowd in the lane -- cut Charlotte's lead to 79-74 with 7:22 to go.
While the Nets would return to that five-point margin on several occasions, they would get no closer, with Tony Parker scoring 15 of Charlotte's 18 points during one fourth quarter stretch to answer every Brooklyn push.
The Nets trailed by 12 at halftime, cutting into an early 20-point deficit after the Hornets jumped out to a 26-6 lead.
Jeremy Lamb and Cody Zeller combined for 25 first-quarter points for Charlotte as the Nets opened up shooting 6-for-25 overall and 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the first 12 minutes, trailing 33-17 after the first quarter.
Brooklyn opened the second quarter on a 14-6 run to close within 39-31 on a Russell 3-pointer midway through the quarter. Russell led Brooklyn at the break with 16 points, but overall the Nets shot just 31.9 percent and 15.4 percent from 3-point range (2-for-13) while trailing 54-42.
The Nets wrap up a back-to-back in Milwaukee, then have a three-day break between games before hosting New Orleans on Wednesday. That will be Brooklyn's only home game in a stretch of six games, with a trip to Memphis, Chicago and Boston to follow.